Basseterre. St.Kitts (January 18th 2017):- The Opposition St.Kitts-Nevis Labour Party is being blasted for the peddling of untruths regarding the progressive Team UNITY Administration and in particular Minister Ian Patches Liburd. Leader of the Opposition Former Prime Minister Dr Denzil Douglas speaking to local media recently said that for Minister Patches Liburd to form a private company is evidence of alleged corruption, graft, nepotism and conflict of interest.
In a Team UNITY Administration cabinet statement on Monday the 2 year old government blasted the Opposition Leader and other elements for what it described as accusations, allegations and untruths based on speculation and innuendo. The statement categorically denied all accusations or assertions of any semblance of corruption within the UNITY administration and further declared that the Team UNITY government is operating at the highest possible ethical standards.
The Cabinet statement indicated that “Cabinet received legal advice on the matter and recorded its disappointment that certain elements within the society were attempting to make an issue where there was none. Cabinet reaffirmed its commitment to the highest level of ethical conduct and behaviour by members of the Cabinet and noted that not one scintilla of evidence has been provided to indicate that any member of the Cabinet had breached any ethical standard. The Cabinet was assured that the company is not licensed to conduct business, neither has the company engaged in any business, and in particular business which benefits from any contracts with the government. The Cabinet is satisfied that Minister Liburd has done nothing illegal. Further and most importantly, Minister Liburd has no intention to activate the business in question.”
The issue has highlighted the need for intensive and proper investigations to be pursued regarding the occurrences of blatant corruption and conflict of interest that took place under the former Dr. Denzil Douglas regime. The most glaring is the rental/lease of his property to the Taiwanese government at US$7500 per month whilst he was Prime Minister in 2008. In a statement issued via his legal counsel then ,Anthony Astaphan, Dr. Douglas stated that there is no law preventing him as prime Minister from engaging in his private business enterprise.
“There is no rule or law whatsoever in the Federation of St. Kitts and Nevis which prevents or prohibits any elected Minister or Prime Minister from conducting private business while in office. It matters not that a foreign state is involved. Nor would it matter if Integrity in Public Office legislation was enacted into law.” Says Attorney Astaphan then Legal Counsel of Prime Minister Dr. Denzil Douglas in 2008 Statement
Minister Ian Patches Liburd has categorically denied any conflict of interest or corruption on his part and indicated that he simply excercised his right to register a business . Liburd stated that the business does not have a license to even operate and is purely a business on paper with absolutely no activitiy. Thus no arrangement or contract with government is even possible as is being suggested and peddled by the Opposition Labour Party.
The Team UNITY government sort and has received legal advice and are satisfied that absolutely nothing illegal or unethical has taken place in the matter. The Prime Minister Dr. Timothy HARRIS led government used the cabinet briefing to record its disappointment that certain elements within the society were attempting to make an issue where there was none.